Thames Towers food challenge takes place Saturday

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Mauro Pippo

On Oct. 16, no can will be left un-donated as East battles West on Grand Avenue in Chatham.

The tenants of Thames Towers East and West will lock horns in a friendly donation game, with Chatham’s two food banks being crowned the winners.

Tenants from the two Grand Avenue West buildings will donate food to Outreach for Hunger and the Salvation Army food banks.

Building managers said the idea stems from Jane and Joe Rivers, two tenants in the complex.

“The tenants came up to my husband and I with the idea,” Sharon Pippo said. “And now we’re having a little competition; east versus west.”

Ruth VanHumbeck

Sharon and Mauro Pippo manage the east building, while Ruth VanHumbeck handles the west building.

Mauro stressed the event is just friendly competition with donations to two important charitable organizations.

“We have signs up. Our building is pretty pumped up. The other building wants to beat me and I want to beat them,” he said with a laugh. “But basically, we want to help. We see the food bank shelves are pretty bare.”

Sharon said they hope to change that with the food-raiser.

“On Oct. 16, we ask that everyone in the buildings just put the collected food outside their apartment doors,” Sharon said. “Volunteers will collect and weigh it.”

Tenants can also make cash donations if they so wish. Those will be divided between the two food banks.

Sharon Pippo

Sharon said there will be floor prizes and the winning building will have a special trophy: a stack of tin cans painted gold with a “Winner” badge attached.

The Pippos encourage tenants to cheat by asking their family and friends to give them items to put out for pickup.

“It’s a competition. If they do some sneaky add ons, the food banks need stuff and we’ll take anything we can get,” Sharon said. “I hope there will be lots of tenants who will do that.”

Sharon said the tenants have embraced the fun.

“Our buildings are mostly seniors. It’s just fun to see them get out and laughing,” she said, adding the pandemic restrictions have taken their toll. “They’ve been locked up for so long.”

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